INEC partners business community for hitch-free 2019 general elections

INEC partners business community for hitch-free 2019 general elections
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will partner with the business community in Enugu state to ensure a hitch-free 2019 general elections in the state. INEC’s Enugu Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Emeka Ononamadu, said this in Enugu on Sunday during INEC’s maiden meeting with stakeholders in the business community in the state. Ononamadu noted that the business community has a high stake in elections, as outcomes of elections or governance affect businesses directly or indirectly. “If there is any tension in the land during election as an outcome of irregularities and disagreements, the business community suffers the impact most. “If it is in the reverse where there is credible election and good governance, the business community reap most of the dividends,’’ he said. The REC noted that it was in the interest of INEC to expose and enlighten the business community on its roles to support INEC ensure a credible and smooth elections. “For instance, the commission needed the business community in the area of transportation of its staff and materials on time on the D-Days of the election. “We also need the business community to mobilize their members to register in the ongoing Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) and collection of their Permanent Voters Cards. “Also, for your members to conduct themselves in a professional manner, come out en mass to vote and not engaging in the recent negative trend of vote buying and vote selling,’’ he said. Ononamdu noted that INEC had taken its advocacy and CVR registration to banks, markets, communities and other public places in the state to ensure it carried everybody along in the electoral process. Responding, Mr Emeka Okereke, Director-General of Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), lauded INEC for being proactive and doing wider consultations ahead of the elections. “I believe this wider consultation with various stakeholders will bear much fruit and make the electoral process and election more acceptable, credible and hitch-free, as each individual, group and stakeholder understand his role and play it faithful,’’ Okereke said. The state Chairman of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Chief Matthew Asogwa, noted that the union had been partnering with INEC before now, adding that it managed the transportation arrangement of INEC in 2015 elections in the state. “We have earlier mandated our members to register for CVR, collect their PVCs and ultimately ensure they vote on the D-Day. “The NURTW is also inviting INEC to its meeting on Aug. 29; for the commission to use the avenue to enlighten our members the more and answer questions that are bothering them concerning the forthcoming elections,’’ Asogwa said. Leaders of various market associations, unions and departmental stores in the state attended the meeting. Flood: Benin residents appeal for urgent govt. attention Residents of flood ravaged Obakhawaye street in Benin metropolis have appealed to the Edo government to urgently address the recurring menace. Some of the residents said on Sunday, said the menace gives them nightmares during the rainy seasons. They said the menace had compounded the environmental degradation of the city centre because of its strategic location. They said Obakhawaye street, being one of the longest streets within the city centre, lacked proper drainage, which constituted an environmental and health hazard to residents. A trader, Esosa Osayuwa, who have a shop on the street, said the area had been in a terrible state for many years. Osayuwa said that during the rainy seasons, some residents do build canoes as means of transportation to access their houses. She called on the state government to urgently construct drains to address the menace. Ivie Omoye, a resident, said part of the reasons for the flood, was “because people have also built on waterways, and this has compounded the flooding”. Omoye said years ago, some persons lost their lives while property worth millions was swept away by the flood after a heavy down pour. She called on the state government to channel the water to a river or a canal, adding that this would “be a big relief to the residents. “I am looking for a new apartment, because as I speak to you, my house is flooded. “For the past three days, I have been staying in my friend’s house. The government should help us, we have been suffering for more than five years now,” she said. Omoye noted that the flood was a collection of water from link roads such as Oluku, Isekheri, Olotan and Uselu. Mr Lucky Isime, another resident, said that the congestion on Obakwawaye street contributes to the flooding of the area. He said that the closure of park at the Ring road has led to the springing up of new motor park in area. “This influx of people and their activities, such as blocking of road, dumping of refuse are things that leads to flooding.”

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